Hello, I’m Julia and I am an addict.
I am addicted to all things British. Or, as my friends would probably say, borderline mad about it.
My love affair with Britain and British things began when I spent three weeks on a language course in beautiful Oxford in 1997. Almost 16 years later I still think about those three weeks as being among the greatest of my life. The city with its ‘Dreaming Spires’ cast a spell over me from Day 1 (well, maybe Day 2, seeing as I spent most of Day 1 first on the bus from Heathrow airport and then sleeping in the bedroom I shared with a Turkish girl called Burçu in our host family’s home in Kidlington (a suburb of Oxford), due to the fact that we had to get up so ridiculously early for the flight that morning ;-)). It was the first time I was on holiday without my parents or any other adult I knew. The only familiar face from home was my godmother’s daughter who had had the idea of doing this language course in the first place and had made me come with her so she wouldn’t have to go on her own. We both enjoyed our time in Oxford immensely and as far as I’m concerned, it turned me into a hardcore anglophile.
“Hold on”, I can just hear you exclaiming now, “anglophiles love English things, why is she telling us she’s addicted to Britain then? Doesn’t she know England and Britain are two different things?” Well, I do know that, actually, but even though I won’t hesitate to admit that my primary affections concern England and all there is to it, I also adore Scotland (OMG the accents!! I could listen to David Tennant reading the phone book!) and Wales (again, OMG the accents – yes, I admit, I’m a bit of an accent whore and I’m not ashamed to say it!!). And I know it’s not technically (as in politically and topographically) correct to include it in the term ‘Britain’ and therefore in this blog, but I am also interested in matters concerning Northern Ireland. So I guess you could call me a ‘britophile’ instead of an ‘anglophile’, but that word just sounds weird, doesn’t it? Oh well…
So why did I start this blog? Well, I have three major ‘passions’ (for want of a better word) in my life: Books/reading, my cat, and Britain/British things. Now, as many of you doubtlessly know, there already are countless blogs about books and reading on the interwebs, so who needs another one of those, right? Exactly. And even though I love my cat dearly and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’m sure no-one would really want to read the ramblings of a crazy cat lady (though, come to think of it, that would make one hell of a good blog title… ). So, basically, all I’ve got to talk about to satisfy my nerdy little brain and my need to be – to put in the words of the ever-so-swanky Severus Snape – “an insufferable know-it-all” is… Britain. So there.
What can you expect to read about on here? Anything and everything, really. At the time I’m writing this I have a few major categories in mind which I’d like to cover on this blog, but nothing is set in stone yet. However, to give you a general idea, the main things I’d like to write about are: Books (obviously!), film and television, food, music, and history (because in addition to being an accent whore I am also a history geek and tend to get very excited about the lives of dead people!). As long as it’s to do with Britain somehow, though, nothing is really out of bounds, so I’ll write about pretty much anything that tickles my fancy. All Britain great and small, basically, which is also the name of this blog that my lovely friend Sandra from Toronto came up with. I know that sounds rather wishy-washy but I hope you’ll enjoy reading it, anyway.
As for the language and grammar on this blog, I ask you to bear with me: As you will have gathered from the whole ‘language course’ thing, I am obviously not a native speaker of English and even though my university considered my language proficiency sufficient enough to award me a Bachelor’s degree in English Studies almost four years ago, I still consider myself to be a perennial learner of the English language and though I strive for perfection I also know that I will never achieve it. All native speakers among you are always welcome to correct me, of course, should you come across any mistakes on this blog (and I’m sure you will).
Right… enough with the rambling, let’s get down to business now, shall we? I hope you enjoy this blog and I’m looking forward to your feedback via the comments.